Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

A landslide victory for the 'invisible candidate' in Algeria's Presidential polls

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 18 April 2014

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 18 April 2014 (part 2)

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Presidential adviser resigns over "shoe-shine scandal"

Read more

#THE 51%

Breaking stereotypes

Read more

#TECH 24

Galaxy S5 v. HTC One (M8): Which is the right one for you?

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

New PM Manuel Valls outlines priorities

Read more

FASHION

Jean-Marc Loubier, bags and shoes.

Read more

ENCORE!

Hip-hop musician Beat Assailant on mixing the sounds of the city

Read more

  • Freed French journalists arrive home after Syria ordeal

    Read more

  • French journalist tells of release from captivity in Syria

    Read more

  • Divers begin pulling bodies from sunken South Korean ferry

    Read more

  • Syria’s Assad visits recaptured Christian town at Easter

    Read more

  • UK’s Hamilton cruises to victory at Chinese Grand Prix

    Read more

  • ‘Deadly clashes’ at Eastern Ukraine checkpoint

    Read more

  • In pictures: French kite festival takes flight

    Read more

  • Militants kill Algerian soldiers in deadly ambush

    Read more

  • Scores killed in South Sudan cattle raid

    Read more

  • PSG clinch fourth League Cup title after beating Lyon

    Read more

  • Le Pen’s National Front fail to woo Britain’s Eurosceptics

    Read more

  • VIDEO: Anti-Semitic leaflets in Eastern Ukraine condemned

    Read more

  • In pictures: Good Friday celebrated across the globe

    Read more

  • Bouteflika, the ghost president

    Read more

  • Does Valls’ upcoming Vatican trip violate French secularism?

    Read more

  • Ukraine separatists say ‘not bound’ by Geneva deal

    Read more

  • Abel Ferrara’s hotly awaited DSK film to premiere on web

    Read more

  • Obama signs bill to block controversial Iran diplomat from UN post

    Read more

  • Astronomers discover Earth-like planet that could support life

    Read more

  • Indian election: Votes for sale

    Read more

  • In pictures: Iranian woman pardons son’s killer at the gallows

    Read more

  • West African Ebola outbreak caused by new strain of virus

    Read more

Middle east

Key national vote faces delay as political crisis deepens

©

Text by Mehdi Chebil

Latest update : 2009-11-24

Iraq's general elections are likely to be postponed after Vice-President Tariq al-Hashemi (pictured) and the parliament failed to agree on the terms of a crucial electoral law over sectarian representation.

The Iraqi parliament has raised the stakes in its open dispute with Sunni Vice-president Tariq Al-Hashemi after approving amendments to a contested election law without increasing the representation of diaspora Iraqis, raising fears of major delays for January’s general elections.

Iraq’s latest political crisis began on November 18, when Al-Hashemi vetoed the election law on the grounds that it would discriminate against the large number of Iraqis, mostly Sunnis or Christians, who fled the country after the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime in 2003.

But Hashemi’s key demand of tripling the Iraqi diaspora representation from 5% to 15% in the next 323-seat parliament was rejected by Shiites and Kurdish lawmakers on Monday. Sunni representatives reacted angrily, saying that Al-Hashemi was likely to once again reject the amended election law, further prolonging the deadlock over the stalled legislation.

According to the Iraqi constitution, an electoral law must be passed at least 60 days before the election takes place and the election has to be held before January 31st.

Some analysts fear that postponing the vote could set a dangerous precedent and weaken the country’s fledging institutions. They say the parliament could eventually revoke the vice-presidential veto by holding a 3/5 vote in favour of the amended electoral law, but insist that such a move would likely trigger fresh sectarian wrangling.
 
“That would be the last action to be taken because the MPs don’t want to aggravate the political crisis”, Naji Al-Hakim, an Iraqi political scientist based in Baghdad told FRANCE 24.
 
Deal or no deal

Al-Hashemi’s unexpected veto has been described as grandstanding ahead of the country’s nationwide elections.

“Al-Hashemi probably knew this percentage was not reasonable and he’s basically in the process of bargaining with the parliament. In the end, I expect he would agree to a rise to 7 or 8 percent of the seats for Iraqis in the diaspora”, says Al-Hakim.

“What Al-Hashemi is doing is some electoral propaganda to increase his clout among minorities in Iraq”, Al-Hakim added.

A major delay could also affect the US military’s plan to end combat operations by August 31. The United States has been lobbying hard for the election to take place as scheduled in January. Christopher Hill, the US ambassador for Iraq, has repeatedly to try and smooth the progress of this key legislation.

This crucial election would be the second nationwide ballot since the ousting of Sunni dictator Saddam Hussein in the 2003 US-led invasion.

Date created : 2009-11-24

  • IRAQ

    President Talabani fears power vacuum if vote delayed

    Read more

  • IRAQ

    VP vetoes election law, puts January poll in jeopardy

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)